Tuesday, January 27, 2009

grandpa tuesday @ the queen mary

this morning we enjoyed visiting the queen mary with grandpa. there were a lot of stairs, but by the time sy reached the top and i got all the kids together, grandpa had caught his breath and was ready to go. so we had lots of fun!

the kids explored the engine area for quite a while, actually sat through a documentary, then ran about on the upper decks.
we got a little history in, a lot of equating boat engine parts to car engine parts - these ship parts were much bigger!
this is a huge wrench that turns a huge nut that holds the huge propeller in place! much bigger than daddy's tools at home. about 15minutes before we found this one, we found one that was about 30 inches long and 4 inches wide and the boys were so amazed with that one! it was funny to see their reactions.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

chore update!

it's been 2 weeks and we're still doing our chores! the house is in order from the time we finish (usually 9-10am) until after lunch! and sometimes until after dinner! it's about 50/50! this has been such a blessing! hooray! it's been great to go into our lessons with such order because everyone is more ready to work having just finished chores and not coming from complete chaos into lesson time. and now i can say that my kids make their beds! even though sometimes i look at it and have a hard time calling it "made". they're improving each day. they know what's expected. today jojo told me that he did almost his whole pack without looking at it. i did tell them that was the eventual goal, but for now they need to keep wearing them because we may add some or change things around when i evaluate after 1 month.

independence hall

on thursday, we braved the weather forecast (but not the weather) and visited Independence Hall at knott's berry farm with our parkday friends.

the building is really great. they have a brochure telling all the fun details. like that the bricks were hand-made (just like the original building) and you can see fingerprints on the bricks. the dimensions of the clock and weather vane at the top are much larger than you'd guess because you're looking at them so high up. in the first room there is a button on the handrail at the base of the staircase - it's called the "honesty button" and our forefathers would rub it on their way in to remind them to be honest while going about the business of establishing our country. (as i'm writing this i'm realizing that although i was annoyed with some of the little details, an honesty button might do our country some good these days!)
in any case, with all the minute details we were given, there was nothing at all about this huge dedication on the wall. who is the supreme architect? it's only important because he was the guy whose plan they used to establish this nation. (or so says the dedication).
words meant so much back then. like the words they were using to write the declaration of independence and our constitution in this very building that was dedicated to God and equipped with an honesty button to remind them that they were accountable to Him!

on a lighter note... outside there was this statue of paul revere. i just found it funny that there's a huge roller coaster behind him. that's all.

the science center

grandma took us to the science center on monday. she is such a blessing to us!

grandma came to watch the kids while we went to a conference this past weekend and was staying while i had jury duty on tuesday. since monday was mlkj day and she was here with her science center pass we thought we'd brave the crowd and enjoy some hands-on science. it turns out it was not only a holiday for the government schools but it was also free-day for santa ana residents! there were so many people, but it wasn't bad. the kids were able to do everything they wanted to try. i'd never been there before, so i had nothing to compare it to. i know next time i go, i will be amazed at how few people there are.

here are the kids on the rock wall. everyone had a turn climbing - even sy.

we have always enjoyed the magic school bus - even if i do have to edit whilst reading. here are the kids on the hood of the bus.
And here they are driving the bus & making weather. There were some fun "recipes" for different storms and you could mix temperatures and wind and humidity to create your own storms! what fun!
Lastly they took a photo with liz the lizard from the msb books. (of all the characters to take my kids' pic with - i don't think i even have a picture of them with mickey yet!) oh well.

now this photo is an accomplishment for me! i really used to avoid dinosaurs and all talk of them (how silly of me!) but now i am so comfortable with them after hearing ken ham talk about how they fit in with God's creation. in fact i am dying to go to the creation museum to see more! (next time i'm in cincinnati)

we had a great day! i figured out that i'd like to take the kids there more often, so we'll plan to get passes (someday).

Monday, January 12, 2009

new habits

we've been forming new habits using the "chorepack" system from http://www.titus2.com/. it has been very fun so far and the kids are feeling successful and our home is more neat and orderly. hooray! i'd tried to use the MOTH (managers of their homes) system and was having a hard time being "on time" for everything on my schedule and feeling overwhelmed if i got off track, but with the MOTC (MOT Chores) it's been great. we are not on a time schedule, but we are doing things in the same order each morning and the kids are thriving with feeling accomplished in their responsiblities.

as i was reading through the book, i found that my kids were already doing "bigger" chores than the kids their age in the example families, BUT we don't have a basic consistent daily routine. (so, my kids do all the laundry in our home - sort, load, soap, switch to dryer, unload, put away - i only fold! and those same kids did not know how to make their beds and i never asked them to.)
with our new "habits"/chores, we've only established a morning routine so far. and it consists of:

jojo - unload dishwasher, Bible/prayer, dress, make bed, pour breakfast drinks, wipe table & chairs after breakfast, brush teeth & prep other kids' toothbrushes, organize bookshelves.

kiki - dress, make bed, clean room, Bible/prayer, clear table, load dishwasher, wipe appliances, brush teeth, wipe toilet.

ky - dress, make bed, clean room, prayer, set table, vacuum under table, brush teeth, wipe sinks, get hair done.

mom - Bible/prayer, make bed, dress, make breakfast, put vitamins out, rinse dishes, wipe counters/stove/griddle, dress sy, set school table, do ky's hair, check chores.

this is working well as long as we all start around the same time and stay on task. we all have to work together because, for example, at breakfast kiki clears the table, jojo wipes the table, then ky vacuums the dining area - all while i rinse the dishes kiki brought then he loads them in the dishwasher. so our jobs depend on each other which helps keep us on task.

jojo is of course the most thrilled, followed by ky (who is constantly stopping to play right now but enjoys moving a task to the back of the pack), and kiki is least enthusiastic, but still has great moments when he conquers a task.

i am just enjoying knowing that ky's hair won't be crazy and sy will not wear pj's all day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


we were so excited to have "auntie anna" come visit. she is such a special friend to me and i am so blessed that she would come visit with us for a couple days! the kids enjoyed going to the airport to pick her up, dropping her off at the train station, and all the extra attention in between. they prepared some questions in advance about life in south america which made her visit more exciting for them than if she were just another adult hanging out.

we hosted a little dinner with a couple more friends who wanted to visit and i was very pleased with the kids' behavior. (we saw some hard parenting-work pay off a little. so that was an added bonus to the visit.)
it is so fun to see the people you pray for and hear how God is working in their lives. after our last missionary visit, the kids were so eager to pray for them and have been consistent in their prayers for the family and the work they are doing. it is a blessing to have these encouragers come into our home even for a couple days to bring to life God's heart for all the people of the world.

the train show

we went to the train show at the anaheim convention center. it was a good time of looking at tons of trains. we found some electric thomas trains - i think they make them to transition little boys from thomas to the world of electric trains. we're not ready yet. but the boys had a blast looking at all the set-ups and the men running them were so kind to talk with the boys and answer questions and even cater to their preference for thomas the tank engine when pointing things out. ky kept asking when we would leave. she does have a shorter attention span but i think it was a girl thing. still, we had a good time as a family.

our neighbors

our neighbors are such a blessing to us! we got home from our vacation and had all our neighbors visit and bring gifts! it was incredible. we received many yummy treats AND an electric train & track AND a new soccer goal!
here are the kids with the train and the soccer goal. unfortunately i didn't get out the camera fast enough to show the treats!

Electronic Snap Kits

the boys received 2 electronic snap kits for Christmas and they win for most time used with a gift. actually, the pjs they got may win, but for awake time - playing with electricity wins hands down. (it helps that daddy really likes them too). on the first of the year, they spent 4½ hrs straight building projects, broke for dinner, and were back at it for another couple hours until bed! the next day - 8 hours! it's too bad daddy has to make money because they could probably still be going at that rate if he was here! check out the fun...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

IE Adventures

on the way home from AZ we stopped in the IE to vacation. The kids rode with grandpa & grandma in the microwave. we stayed with them at the RV park in cabins. us in one, the cousins in another, and the grandparents in the RV.

we went on the palm springs aerial tramway. while we waited to board, the kids played in a gorgeous surrounding of fall leaves, crawling through bushes and climbing on rocks. on the tram, we had the opportunity to see beautiful views and there was snow at the top to play!
we had an all family snowball fight - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - it was a blast. we built our first big snowman (last winter we made one about a foot tall, so this year's 3 feet was much more realistic).
sy was the 5th little grubb to wear this snowsuit. it was his daddy's over 30 years ago and now each of our children has had the opportunity to wear it at least once.

scott's sister's family is such fun to play with. the kids enjoy doing just about anything with each other and the adults all like playing games together. so vacation with them is always a good time.

we went hiking in the hills behind our kabin. there were more fun views and big boulders to climb.

we celebrated scott's 35th birthday at a local italian restaurant

then headed home on new year's eve. by this time our kids had been away from home for 9 days and we were thinking that it was about 2 days too long. hopefully we'll work on that again though soon. (that means we'd have to go on another vacation - which always sounds good to me.)

Christmas in Arizona

we had a fun 5 days in Phoenix with the grandparents! the kids love to see them, of course. but beyond seeing them, we got to hike with them, church with them, and bowl with them. all of this culminated with a drive in their microwave! (you might call it a motorhome).

the kids hiked the mountain behind their house numerous times. the 26th, we hiked up "the bigger mountain" which took a couple hours. that was fun.

this photo is at the top of the bigger mountain, there were a lot of people out hiking, running, etc for the morning after Christmas. it was really cold to us, but there were quite a few families in shorts! i guess we are accustomed to the sunny California winters!
the boys spent a little time outside with their nature journals. i really wanted them to do it everyday while we were gone because there are so many different things to see - like cactus, cactus, and more cactus. but their journals currently consist of only what is in our neighborhood - grass, flowers, vegetables. so we got one cactus - and that's good enough for me.

"the professional"

what fun we had!

Christmas with the Thibodo's

we had my side of the family over on the 21st for Christmas dinner. it was a fun time with cousins together and lots of football watching (the soccer kind and the throwball kind receiving almost equal time).